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Sociology Part I 1. Describe the steps in the research process. Why is the research process useful to researchers? There are a number of stages in the research process. The stages in the research process must be considered in terms of whether the research is qualitative or quantitative…
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Download file to see previous pages For quantitative research the first step in the research process is to develop a research topic. Research topics can be gained from a variety of areas but are generally related to the researcher’s background or interests. A notable point about researcher topics, however, is that they are very broad, so it is necessary to break them down to something narrower. The next step of the research process is developing a research question. An important thing to recognize is that the research question comes after the research topic, except the research question is more specific. In developing a research topic there are a lot of things that occur. For instance, “this requires a careful review of literature and developing hypotheses.”1 By reviewing literature the research is able to find areas that have not been previously researched. In this way the researcher is able to narrow down the research topic to a research question. The next stage of the research process is to design a study. Designing a study involves forming the way that the material will be analyzed. For quantitative research, designs must use math or statistics. Real life elements are analyzed through using math and statistics. The research design also considers the way that the research will analyze the data. This is very important to specify because it aids in determining the results. The next stage of the research process is collecting data. For quantitative research, collecting data involves gathering specific numbers and information to ensure the study has a high reliability. Following this stage the researcher must analyze the data that has been collected. For quantitative research, analyzing the data is often aided by computer models. Still it is also necessary to interpret the data. As such, the next stage of the research design is to interpret the data. This process occurs as the researcher works to find parts of the math and statistics that demonstrate notable areas. Following this stage the researcher informs others. Informing others doesn’t simply involve telling one’s friends and colleagues, but also involves writing the data down and publishing it. Qualitative research also follows these steps. Still, there are some differences for qualitative research as compared to quantitative research. The most important difference between these is that the first step of qualitative research requires that the research consider their personal perspectives. This is highly important for qualitative research, as the researcher will be the one analyzing the data. In quantitative research the data is largely from math so there is less influence from the research. However, in qualitative research the researcher is more responsible for interpreting things so they must consider their perspective first. The research process is very useful to researchers for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the most important thing is that the research process provides an outline that can contribute to developing strong and valid and reliable research. By following the research steps the researcher is then able to ensure that they can share their research through publication. Another part about the research process that makes it useful is that by following this process the researcher is able to limit the potential for researcher bias. While bias is always possible, the researcher steps provide a structure to follow that makes the research ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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